More companies commit to equal pay pledge on Women’s Equality Day

Facebook, Apple, and CVS are among 29 companies that on Friday promised to work toward erasing the gender pay gap by signing onto the White House’s Equal Pay Pledge, the Obama administration announced Friday.

With the new commitments, more than 50 companies employing millions of people have signed on to the initiative, which was launched in June.

Each company has has agreed to conduct a yearly analysis of its pay practices, review hiring and promotion procedures and adopt practices aimed at closing the national gap in pay between men and women, according to the White House.

Women make up nearly half the U.S. labor force and increasingly hold positions that traditionally have been occupied by men. Yet in 2014, a woman working full-time year-round in America earned only 79% of what the typical man earned working full-time all year, according to the White House.

That figure does not take into account differences in education, experience, occupation, overtime and other factors, but studies have found that gender discrimination explains at least some of the pay gap.

“No woman should earn less than a man for doing the same job,” Obama said in a proclamation Friday marking Women’s Equality Day, which commemorates the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. “Equal pay for equal work should be a fundamental principle of our economy and our democracy”.

Apple echoed that sentiment in announcing its decision to sign the pledge, saying that over the past year it had examined compensation for its U.S. employees and made progress closing the gaps.

“We’ve achieved pay equity in the United States for similar roles and performance,” the company said. “Women employees at Apple earn one dollar for every dollar male employees earn. We’re now analyzing the salaries, bonuses, and annual stock grants of all our employees worldwide. If a gap exists, we’ll address it. And we’ll continue our work to make sure we maintain pay equity.”

Facebook said in its pledge that it was “a longtime supporter of equal pay” and for many years had regularly reviewed its compensation practices to ensure pay equity.

The Obama administration has lauded the initiative as an example of its commitment to ensure fair pay for all Americans.

The president’s first piece of legislation on the issue was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which was signed into law in 2009 and aims to protect women from pay discrimination.

Other companies that signed the pledge on Friday include A.T. Kearney, Akamai Technologies Inc., Anheuser-Busch, Chobani, Coca-Cola Co., Delta Air Lines Inc., Dropbox, Dunkin' Brands, EY, The Hartford, the Hershey Company, Hilton, IBM, IKEA U.S., Intel Corp., the Libra Group, LinkedIn Corp., MailChimp,  MuleSoft, Microsoft Corp., Nike Inc., Patagonia, Target Corp., Unilever Plc and Visa.

ann.simmons@latimes.com

For more on global development news follow me @AMSimmons1 on Twitter

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